The effects of cocaine addiction can be devastating on a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. If not addressed this serious problem can lead to losses of many kinds, including health, finances, personal relationships and ultimately the loss of life may be the end result. In order to break the cycle of destruction, the substance must be eliminated from the addicted person’s system by means of cocaine detox. Subsequent therapy normally follows this in most rehabilitation programs.


Once a cocaine-dependent individual is admitted to rehab they have taken the first step necessary to conquer this debilitating addiction. Not only must access to the drug be denied, but all traces and accumulated toxins associated from its use must be purged from the body. This detoxification process will not be pleasant at all for the patient initially as they will experience the intense discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.


Any kind of drug withdrawal is very difficult to go through, but since Cocaine withdrawal is such a powerful and potentially lethal substance, the effects are that much more pronounced. Cessation of the use of this drug is known as a “crash.” In many patients this “crash” will affect both the body and the mind by producing the following symptoms; an intense craving for the drug, nausea and vomiting, body pains, fever, itching or the feeling that bugs are crawling all over the skin, tremors, exhaustion, irritability, mood swings, paranoia and similar behavior as that demonstrated with schizophrenia.


These unpleasant symptoms will usually develop during the first few days of not taking the drug. They can continue for weeks, often becoming more intense and new symptoms may develop as well during this time. Sometimes these feelings will continue for several months. The longer a person has been addicted to the substance, the more severe and longer the detoxification experience will be. The urge to return to using the substance is often still felt after the symptoms have abated, and may last for years in some cases.


In order to reduce the effect of these often violent withdrawal symptoms that are suffered during the detox process, there are several types of medications that can often be prescribed for this purpose. The most commonly administered medications are antidepressants, sedatives, benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers. All of these pharmaceuticals are given to primarily treat the psychological symptoms experienced and calm the central nervous system.


Some patients may prefer a drug-free approach, in which cases a holistic treatment plan approved by a medical practitioner may be used. This type of treatment usually involves such things as dietary adjustment, vitamins, exercise programs, and saunas. It can be an effective method of detox as well, but must also be followed by therapy that addresses the psychological side of the addiction.


Although the body is free from feeling the need to abuse drugs, the mind may still be bound in this way. Therapy is needed to alleviate this problem. Normally, once the patient’s condition is stabilized and the symptoms of withdrawal have dissipated, therapy is begun. This may be done individually or as a group. Most programs involve a combination of motivational therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.


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